Community-led town centre plan in running for major award

Monday, 2 March, 2020

An ambitious, community-led action plan for Kirkintilloch town centre has been shortlisted for a prestigious honour.action meeting

Your Kirky - aka Kirkintilloch Community Council - has been highlighted as part of the 2020 RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence, with its Town Centre Community Action Plan nominated in the 'Excellence in Plan Making Practice' category.

Running for over 40 years, the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected in the UK planning industry.

The Town Centre Community Action Plan was led by Your Kirky, with support from Kevin Murray Associates and East Dunbartonshire Council, and developed through extensive community 'conversations', which engaged residents of all ages and backgrounds, businesses and groups.

Recent innovations such as Kirky Picture Palace (a regular cinema event within Kirkintilloch Town Hall) and a pop-up Christmas shop arose directly from the plan and subsequent community engagement events.

In addition, Your Kirky has been carrying out an options and design study for Regent Gardens. The aim is to create a greenspace more suited to contemporary needs, including greater potential for events, play and health benefits.

Efforts continue to promote the town as a destination - empowering the community to promote, support, regenerate and strengthen their centre.

Nigel Rooke, of Your Kirky, said, "We're delighted to be shortlisted for the prestigious RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. It's testament to the huge amount of work carried out - most of it in the background - by Your Kirky, Kevin Murray Associates, East Dunbartonshire Council and other partners, aimed at improving the town centre.

"We believe strongly that good places are good for people - and a thriving community - and that is what sits at the heart of this activity and participation image

"It was developed by working closely with the community, listening and understanding their aims and aspirations, then transforming these into desired outcomes. I want to thank all involved - from members of the public to specialist advisers - who helped to shape this ambitious and deliverable plan."

Councillor Susan Murray, Vice Convener of the Council's Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, said, "Well done to everyone who helped to shape the Your Kirky Town Centre Community Action Plan. It's vital we work together to ensure that the town centre not only survives, but thrives - particularly in the face of ongoing retail challenges.

"This kind of bold, community-led initiative is to be celebrated and I'm delighted that, as a Council, we have been able to support Your Kirky in their ongoing efforts."

Winners of the 2020 RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence will be announced at the final on 30 April 2020.

RTPI President Sue Manns said, "Many congratulations to all the finalists, representing the very best of our profession - from not only all the RTPI's regions and nations, but also from countries around the globe.

"These outstanding projects, teams and individuals show how planning can have a positive effect on our communities and the environment, and how planners can use their expertise and enthusiasm to create inclusive, happy and healthy places, and spaces for ourselves and for future generations.

"I wish them all the best of the luck at the ceremony on 30 April."

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* Photos by Pamela Marshall

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